Antonio Carlos Junior found himself on the outs with the UFC during the promotion’s latest flurry of roster cuts. However, it hasn’t taken long for the Brazilian to land on his feet.
According to MMA Fighting ‘Shoe face’ has joined the PFL and he will make his debut in the light heavyweight tournament on April 29. His first opponent is fellow UFC veteran Tom Lawlor. Lawlor was originally scheduled to face Jordan Johnson. However, Johnson has withdrawn from the event for unknown reasons.
Junior will now compete for a $1 million prize against a field of competitors that includes former Cezar Ferreira, Chris Camozzi and Daniel Spohn.
A highly decorated BJJ player, Junior joined the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3. Junior won that show, as a heavyweight, with a victory over Vitor Miranda in the finale on May 21, 2014.
After that Junior moved down to light heavyweight, where he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Patrick Cummins. He then moved down to middleweight, defeating Eddie Gordon by submission in 2015.
After a no contest versus Kevin Casey and a TKO loss to Dan Kelly, Junior reeled off a five fight winning streak which included wins over Marvin Vettori and Tim Boetsch.
In 2019 his win steak was snapped by Ian Heinisch, who beat him via unanimous decision. After that Junior lost to Uriah Hall (split decision) and Brad Tavares (unanimous decision) before being cut form the promotion.
Recently Junior expressed relief at ending his UFC tenure. He told MMA Fighting that he was looking forward to having more power in contract talks and being able to secure personal sponsorships.